2 Corinthians 3:1-5 “Living REAL in an unreal world.”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Jan 27th  as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

2 Corinthians 3:1-5 – Living real in an unreal world.

2 Corinthians 3:1–5 – [1] Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? [2] You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. [3] And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

[4] Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. [5] Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, (ESV)



  • Paul – I am not a peddler/con man (1:17). I am an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Me – I am not a peddler/con man of the Word of God. I am an ambassador for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Can I make this statement?  Is it true?  Is this my life?  Is my life REAL?

It should be.  I should be living a real life in an unreal world.  I should be living an authentic life before Christ and I should be living a confident life in Christ. (ESPECIALLY AFTER THIS WEEK IN HIGHLANDS CO)



In NT times someone would have letter of recommendation to prove they were who they said they were.  Paul is showing that HIS LIFE IS HIS LIVING LETTER.  HE WAS THE REAL DEAL.

Ordination/Licensing is an example.  I was licensed to preach July 12, 1993. That is 25 years, 6 months, 15 days ago. It is an important piece of paper with a great purpose, but what makes one a pastor is his life and ministry, not a piece of paper.


A life of Authenticity IMPACTS OTHERS

  • You yourselves – v. 2
    • The Changed lives within the church.
    • Paul’s proof of his calling and ministry was the way he lived his life and the impact he had on others. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A LIFE OF SELF AND OTHERS.
    • He needed no commendation…they were the proof.


A life of Authenticity is SPIRITUAL IN NATURE

  • Written on the hearts – v. 2
    • A converted heart. An internal matter


A life of Authenticity is BY VIRTUE OF THE CROSS

  • Letter from Christ – v. 3
    • Changed life through the power of the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.


  • Delivered by us – v. 3
    • Paul’s part was to know the power of the Gospel and to share it. POWER AND PROCLAMATION


  • Written by the Spirit of God – v. 3
    • Not on stone, like the old covenant. LAW.
      • Evidently, they (peddlers) were mixing the old with the new.
    • But written by the Spirit. New covenant. GRACE


Jeremiah 31:31–341 Corinthians 2:3–5



Such is the confidence – v. 4

A life of confidence established upon HIS COMMISSION

  • His ministry, His Calling (what He has been tasked to do)
    • How did Paul do it? So many setbacks, so many doubters, so many hurdles.
    • He had confidence in his ministry. His calling.  TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE.
    • 1 Cor. 9:16 – for woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel.


A life of confidence established upon HIS SAVIOR

  • Through Christ toward God – v. 4-5
    • Not that WE are sufficient, in OURSELVES.
    • It all comes from who we are IN CHRIST.
    • If God has saved, sealed and sent…then He also given us everything we need to accomplish it.
      • His presence, power, purpose
      • Col. 2:15 – Defeated, Disarmed. Triumphant…Same as 2 Cor. 2:14
      • Eph 6:10-20 – Our enemy and Our provision





Jeremiah 31:31–34 – [31] “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, [32] not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. [33] For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (ESV)


1 Corinthians 2:3–5 – [3] And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)


Colossians 2:13–15 – [13] And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [15] He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (ESV)


Ephesians 6:10–20 – [10] Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. [11] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. [12] For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [14] Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, [15] and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. [16] In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; [17] and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, [18] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, [19] and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, [20] for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (ESV)

Leave a Reply